Together we can save our mill ponds

Save Newsome Mill ponds

Our mill ponds are once again under threat. Let’s not lose another part of the historic Newsome Mills site. You have until Friday 23rd June 2017 to add your voice to our campaign.

In January 2017, the Huddersfield Planning Committee voted unanimously to refuse planning application number 2016/91479. The application proposed the destruction of the 19th century mill pond and culvert at Newsome Mills, which is the oldest surviving part of the site. The leaseholders have now lodged an appeal against that decision.


How to make your views heard

The appeal will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate. Previous comments will be considered by the inspector, but you can submit new comments too. So if you haven’t already spoken up for our local heritage, or if you’ve got something new to say, now is the time. Here’s how to make your views heard…

Object to the appeal online now at: www.savenewsomemillponds.org.uk 


Choose ‘Make representation’

Or email: North2@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Or write to: Michael Joyce, The Planning Inspectorate Room 3N, Temple Quay House,
2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN 
(you must send 3 copies of your letter).

You must make sure that the Planning Inspector receives your comments by Friday 23rd June 2017.


You must quote this reference in emails and letters:
APP/Z4718/W/17/3173711


This land at Hart Street, right at the centre of Newsome, is part of the historic Newsome Mills site. It includes the 19th century mill pond, the former mill workers allotments and an avenue of protected trees that lines the approach to the Grade II listed Newsome Mills. It’s well used by wildlife and greatly valued by local residents. Community organisations in the area have asked the leaseholders many times for the use of this land, which we want to keep as open space for the benefit of residents and wildlife.

In 2008 & 2009, very similar plans for this site were turned down after local people campaigned against them. The applicants said there was no demand for land for food growing in Newsome. Since then, we’ve become a community of almost 1,000 food growers, and we would welcome the return of this land to community ownership, so that we can use it in the way that local people want.

What the Planning Inspectorate said in 2009 about the land at Hart Street

“The openness of this previously undeveloped part of the site provides valuable visual relief in what is otherwise a fairly densely developed urban area.

“The loss of previously undeveloped open land resulting from the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.”

(This was the verdict of Planning Inspector A J Davison, who dismissed an appeal about a similar planning application for this site in August 2009.)

If you agree with this, please add your comments now.


Save Newsome Mill Ponds

Print out our campaign leaflet to share with your neighbours

Together we can save our mill ponds – advice sheet (PDF)

Further information

Together we can save our mill ponds – blog


We are recovering from the terrible fire at Newsome Mills

Newsome Mills after the fireIn the aftermath of the terrible fire in the early hours of Thursday 17th November 2016 that destroyed the main four-storey building at Newsome Mills, our community are supporting each other in coming to terms with our loss.

After a very difficult week for everyone, we’re delighted to be able to confirm that on Friday 25th November 2016 our landmark clock tower was declared safe.

Find out more on the Newsome Mills Campaign blog:

A week that broke our hearts, but not our spirit

For more information about Newsome Mill, visit:
www.SaveNewsomeMills.org.uk
or follow @NewsomeForum on Twitter.


Two weeks to save our historic mill ponds and greenspace

Save Newsome Mill ponds

You have a new opportunity to comment on the latest planning application for the land at Hart Street (planning application number 2016 / 91479), which proposes removing the mill ponds and cramming 22 houses onto the site.

We’re joining other local organisations in letting the Planning Service know that we’re still opposed to these plans – and we’re asking you to do the same.


You can object to the plans now by using the ‘Make a comment on this application’ link on the Kirklees web site. All previous comments sent to the Planning Service will still be considered, but please take this opportunity to show that you still object to the plans.

The deadline is 16th November 2016.


This land at Hart Street, right at the centre of Newsome, is part of the historic Newsome Mills site. It includes the 19th century mill pond, the former mill workers allotments and an avenue of protected trees that lines the approach to the Grade II listed Newsome Mills. It’s well used by wildlife and greatly valued by local residents. Community organisations in the area have asked the leaseholders many times for the use of this land, which we want to keep as open space for the benefit of residents and wildlife.

The planning application to build new housing on the site has been on hold since the summer, when Kirklees Council asked the applicants to supply some extra information, including a Heritage Statement and an Ecological Survey. The applicants have now written their own Heritage Statement, which argues that building housing on this land would not affect our local heritage, despite the fact that it would destroy the oldest surviving part of Newsome Mills and would drastically alter the character of our area.

If you value this heritage green space at the heart of Newsome, please object to the outline planning application from leaseholders Benjamin Bentley to build 22 houses on the land at Hart Street.

Local residents, community organisations and our ward councillors are opposing these plans for housing on the site. We want the mill ponds and green space to be kept for the benefit of residents and for wildlife (the ponds are used by bats, herons, geese and ducks). If you value this open space, will you help us?

In 2008 & 2009, very similar plans for this site were turned down after local people campaigned against them. The applicants said there was no demand for land for food growing in Newsome. Since then, we’ve become a community of almost 1,000 food growers, and we would welcome the return of this land to community ownership, so that we can use it in the way that local people want.

What the Planning Inspectorate says about the land at Hart Street

“The openness of this previously undeveloped part of the site provides valuable visual relief in what is otherwise a fairly densely developed urban area.

“The loss of previously undeveloped open land resulting from the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.”

(This was the verdict of Planning Inspector A J Davison, who dismissed an appeal about a similar planning application for this site in August 2009.)

If you agree with this, please object to the plans now and quote this statement in your letter, email or web comment.


Share this message on social media

Save Newsome Mill Ponds


Print out our campaign leaflet to share with your neighbours

Save Newsome Mill Ponds – November 2016 leaflet (PDF)


Save Newsome’s historic mill ponds and green space

Save Newsome Mill ponds

The land at Hart Street is the subject of a new planning application (2016 / 91479), which proposes removing the mill ponds and cramming 22 houses onto the site. We’re joining other local organisations in opposing these plans.


You can object to the plans now by using the ‘Make a comment on this application’ link on the Kirklees web site.


This land at Hart Street, right at the centre of Newsome, is part of the historic Newsome Mills site. It includes the 19th century mill pond, the former mill workers allotments and an avenue of protected trees that lines the approach to the Grade II listed Newsome Mills. It’s well used by wildlife and greatly valued by local residents. Community organisations in the area have asked the leaseholders many times for the use of this land, which we want to keep as open space for the benefit of residents and wildlife.

If you value this heritage green space at the heart of Newsome, please object to the outline planning application from leaseholders Benjamin Bentley to build 22 houses on the land at Hart Street.

Local residents, community organisations and our ward councillors are opposing these plans for housing on the site. We want the mill ponds and green space to be kept for the benefit of residents and for wildlife (the ponds are well-used by bats, herons, geese and ducks). If you value this open space, will you help us?

In 2008 & 2009, very similar plans for this site were turned down after local people campaigned against them. The applicants said there was no demand for land for food growing in Newsome. Since then, we’ve become a community of almost 1,000 food growers, and we would welcome the return of this land to community ownership, so that we can use it in the way that local people want.

What the Planning Inspectorate says about the land at Hart Street

“The openness of this previously undeveloped part of the site provides valuable visual relief in what is otherwise a fairly densely developed urban area.

“The loss of previously undeveloped open land resulting from the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area.”

(This was the verdict of Planning Inspector A J Davison, who dismissed an appeal about a similar planning application for this site in August 2009.)

If you agree with this, please object to the plans now and quote this statement in your letter, email or web comment.


Share this message on social media

Save Newsome Mill Ponds


Print out our campaign leaflet to share with your neighbours

Save Newsome Mill Ponds leaflet (PDF)


 

Are open spaces in Kirklees important to you?

flowers on an allotmentDo you value local open spaces such as allotments, parks, wildlife sites, community orchards and other green spaces?

Kirklees Council are running a survey to find out how often people use open spaces, how important you think they are and whether you’re interested in helping to look after our open spaces.

Make sure you share your views.

Our council are facing huge financial challenges and the results of this survey will help to determine policies about our local open spaces. If you value open spaces, please get involved.

 

Please fill in this short questionnaire to give your views about open spaces in the area where you live. Anyone who uses open spaces in Kirklees is welcome to take part.

Open Space survey

 

Save Newsome Fields – sign the petition

The view of Newsome's fields from Castle Hill

The view from Castle Hill today

How the view from Castle Hill could look if developed for housing

The possible view from Castle Hill
if Newsome’s fields are developed for housing

This area of green land off New Laithe Hill, near Newsome, is really valuable to our community. It’s also an asset to the wider Huddersfield area.

These fields below Castle Hill are currently registered as Provisional Open Land, which means that the land could potentially be used for a housing development in the future. We think this would be a great loss to Huddersfield.

The land is currently leased as farming land, as part of a community farm that is bringing huge benefits to local residents. The farm is important to Newsome, and we want to ensure that enough land is available for this project in the future.


Do you want to ensure that this land is kept undeveloped, for the benefit of future generations? You might like to show your support by signing the petition…

Save Newsome Fields – sign the petition:
www.savenewsomefields.org.uk

Allotment inspections – yea or nay?

I was contacted this week by someone who’s concerned about the new six-weekly allotment inspections by Kirklees Council. I was a bit surprised by this, as I know that lots of people think these inspections are a very good idea. Having seen many people be unable to get a local allotment plot in recent years, I tend to think that the council are right to check that allotments are being put to good use.

However, this week I also realised how worrying it must be for some allotment gardeners to find out that they’re suddenly going to be inspected – because people who care about their allotments obviously don’t want to feel like they might lose them.

To help set people’s minds at rest, I’ve checked with Julian Faulkner from Kirklees Council. He’s confirmed that the inspections are just to make sure that people are using their plots rather than letting them lie dormant. This is so that plots can be offered to other people if they’re not being used – so it’s aimed at helping people who want to grow their own food and is nothing for most growers to worry about.

Julian’s advice is to check your tenancy agreement to see what’s expected of you. As a rough guide, the council will check to see that each plot is cultivated (dug and prepared at this time of year and growing crops during the main season). Plots should be tidy with no articles or materials except those that will be used in the growing of crops on site (no piles of rubbish, timber etc).

He’s also sent us a list of common conditions for allotment sites, which you might find useful:

Dos and Don’ts – Conditions for having your allotment garden (pdf)

For the latest information about the council’s work to improve local allotments, see:

More allotment improvements in Kirklees – Kirklees Council online news

Stirley Farm – work expected to start soon

Good news for those of you who support Stirley Farm….

We’re delighted to say that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s plans to develop Stirley Farm are very close to becoming a reality. Pending final approval by Kirklees Council’s Cabinet, work will begin on converting the farm buildings this Autumn.

Growing Newsome are very happy to be a partner in this exciting new project.

If everything goes to plan, the new ‘Stirley Community Farm’ will see 100 hectares of farmland bordering Newsome village, Hall Bower, Berry Brow, Almondbury, Netherton and Honley used for producing local food. The farm buildings will be renovated by the Trust, with the old barn being converted into an education centre. Work on the buildings is due to start in October 2010.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will be employing a Farm Enterprise Manager and a Food Education and Training Officer to work at Stirley Farm. The closing date for job applications is 27th October 2010. The job vacancies are advertised at:

http://www.ywt.org.uk/job_vacancies.php

Workers to help renovate the farm buildings will be recruited via the Future Jobs Fund. There will also be lots of opportunities for local volunteers.

The farm will feature an organic beef farming operation and a farm shop. It will also be the venue for an annual Newsome food festival and for ongoing activities to help people learn how to grow their own food. There will be a range of other community activities at the farm, including guided walks, wildlife conservation and environmental events.

We’re looking forward to working with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust on this project.


Please note: Although we have the Trust’s permission to share this information with our members, we’ve been asked to wait until the final Cabinet approval comes through before promoting the project more widely – we’ll let you know as soon as we have more information.

Allotments available at Hey Lane

Kirklees Council have refurbished some more allotment plots in the Newsome Ward. The Hey Lane allotments in Lowerhouses have been cleared and a new water supply has now been installed. Council officers have already contacted a couple of people who had their names down for a plot at Hey Lane, but they expect there to be 3 or 4 more plots still available after these have been let.

If anybody is interested in an allotment plot at Hey Lane, please contact Alex Foster. Email: alex.foster@kirklees.gov.uk or call the Allotments team on 01484 234021.

You can also get in touch to put your name on the waiting list for other sites.

Stirley Farm consultation results

In 2009 the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust asked local residents for our views about restoring the buildings at Stirley Farm and providing a range of community-based services at the farm. They worked with research company Information by Design (IbyD), who previously worked with Newsome residents on the ‘Grow your own food in Newsome‘ survey.

IbyD ran a door-to-door survey in Newsome, Hall Bower, Netherton, Honley and Almondbury, which are the areas around the Stirley farm site. In total, 519 questionnaires were completed.  Of these, 401 were completed via face-to-face interviews and 118 were completed online.

The survey results show that local residents are very supportive of the proposals for Stirley Farm, and a third of the respondents (33%) said that they would be ‘very likely’ to attend activities about food growing at the farm.

Summary of the survey results

• Overall, just under half (48%) of residents in the consultation reported that they had heard of Stirley Farm before completing the questionnaire, and of these, almost all (93%) claimed to know where Stirley Farm was geographically.

• Overall, almost a half of residents (48%) used the land belonging to Stirley Farm a lot or a little.  Those living close to Stirley Farm (for example in Hall Bower) were more likely to say they used the land a lot or a little.

• 62% of respondents from the least affluent areas said they used the land belonging to Stirley Farm ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’.

• Respondents indicated that they commonly make use of the Castle Hill area: roughly three-quarters (76%) of them said that they visit Castle Hill at least once a year.

• Almost all (98%) of the residents said that they would either ‘support the restoration a lot’ (76%) or ‘support the restoration a little’ (22%).  There was only a small difference in the level of support for the restoration of Stirley Farm between those living in areas of high and low deprivation – 80% of respondents from areas of low deprivation said they ‘would support the restoration a lot’ in comparison to 76% of respondents from the least affluent areas.

• A large proportion of all residents (89%) stated that they thought that Stirley Farm was either in a ‘very good’ (57%) or a ‘fairly good’ (32%) location in regards to access from the surrounding communities.

• There was a strong indication that several of the services proposed in the consultation were in high demand amongst residents.  For example, roughly half of the residents consulted said they ‘definitely would use’ self-guided or guided trails, wildlife conservation, walks in the countryside, and a farm shop.

• Residents included in the consultation were generally positive about attending various ‘educational’ activities if they were provided at Stirley Farm.  For example, a third (33%) indicated that they would be ‘very likely’ to attend activities about growing food at the farm.

• 92% of residents said they ‘strongly agree’ that Stirley Farm should be entirely self-sustainable.

• There was some consensus amongst residents completing the survey that ‘Area C’ on the map shown to residents (see Appendix 3 in the full report) was a preferable location for an allotment area to be established.

• Less than a third (30%) of all residents said that they would be either ‘very likely’ (11%) or ‘fairly likely’ (19%) to use gardening equipment provided by Stirley Farm if an allotment area was made available.

• 72% of all residents said they would ‘definitely’ (23%) or ‘probably’ (49%) like to buy more organic food.  Of these, over two-thirds (71%) said they would be ‘very likely’ (37%) or ‘fairly likely’ (34%) to buy organic beef produced at Stirley Farm.

• Almost three quarters of those residents who said they would like to buy more organic food pointed out that they would be willing to pay ‘a little more’ for organic beef from Stirley Farm than they usually pay for normal beef, while 10% said they would be happy to pay ‘a lot more’.

• Almost a third (31%) of all residents stated that they would be either ‘very likely’ (9%) or ‘fairly likely’ (22%) to volunteer at Stirley Farm.  The most popular aspects which these residents said they would like to volunteer to help in were ‘nature conservation’, ‘wildlife recording’ and ‘education’.

• Roughly a quarter of all residents consulted said that the provision of ‘training schemes’ would make people most likely to volunteer.

Full report

You can also read or download the full survey report here:

Stirley Farm Consultation – Final Report, March 2010 (pdf)

%d bloggers like this: